Many hands on BlackBerry 10 Phones: Ten things we're looking forward to so far

Many Hands on BlackBerry 10!
By Kevin Michaluk on 30 Aug 2012 03:56 pm EDT
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Research In Motion has been on a World Tour of their own these past two weeks, offering a sneak peek of BlackBerry 10 phones to select partners and members of the media.

As I proclaimed on Monday in my From the Editor's Desk post, the CrackBerry team has been fortunate to be there every step of the way, having now handled both the first full touchscreen and physical keyboard variations of BlackBerry 10 phones in no less than three countries. Between Zach in Waterloo, Canada, Adam in New York City and James in London, UK, there's a lot more to this post than just my impressions. When we say many hands on BlackBerry 10, we mean it.

Similar to the handful of other BlackBerry 10 preview articles that have emerged throughout this early BB10 roadshow, we can't provide too many specific details on what we saw and no photos or video were allowed during our sessions.

But don't panic. There is still lots we can and will talk about. Many of you have told us that more important than knowing every little spec and detail at this point, you're most interested in knowing how we felt after spending some quality time on BlackBerry 10. In other words, Was it love at first touch?

The answer to that question was the same for all of us... HELL YEAH! Keep reading for more on what we saw and to learn the ten things that have our hearts racing for BlackBerry 10 so far.

Setting the stage and guessing the names

Previous looks at BlackBerry 10 in action, including the on-stage demo at BlackBerry World in May as well as CrackBerry's initial hands-on, were delivered via the Dev Alpha device running a canned preview version of BlackBerry 10. Though this provided a great visual of BlackBerry 10 and how the flow, glance and peek experience would work, it was more of an interactive demo of BlackBerry 10 than it was BlackBerry 10 up and running. We were of the understanding this was RIM's way to be able to show off BlackBerry 10 without taking the risk of unveiling more than they wanted. A smart approach, but it was one that the naysayers of the world could still call "vaporware" on and get away with. Not anymore.

While BlackBerry was busy showing off the preview build in May and June, it's clear that behind the scenes the teams have been hard at work pushing BlackBerry 10 further ahead every day. Much progress has been made. We witnessed BlackBerry 10 software running on the two BlackBerry 10 phones that will be first to hit the market in 2013. As we learned from our interview with RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins, and CMO, Frank Boulben, RIM will launch BlackBerry 10 in 2013 with two flagship phones, marketing the full touchscreen and physical keyboard variations together. Both will be announced at the same time, though the availability dates will be staggered slightly with the full touchscreen model up for sale first.

RIM wouldn't provide any details on what the devices will be called, but personally (Kevin's opinion) I'm starting to think, based on my Vulcan-like logic, that we will see BlackBerry 10 phones get slotted into the existing Bold, Torch and Curve product families. We know, according to RIM's CEO, that "BlackBerry 10 will proliferate RIM's product portfolio." We also know that RIM plans to release more than just two phones next year. While the first full touchscreen and full keyboard phones will be positioned as high-end devices, we will also see entry level devices running BlackBerry 10 before the year is through.

Kevin's Vulcan-like BlackBerry logic 

Currently, Bold is firmly planted as the full keyboard flagship of the BlackBerry lineup. Torch is positioned as the all out touchscreen experience on BlackBerry. And Curve is well-established as the entry level device family rounding out the BlackBerry phone portfolio. When we asked Boulben during our recent interview Why call it BlackBerry 10? he responded that while he wasn't at the company when that decision was made, that his understanding was that previously BlackBerry was single digit (OS 5, 6, 7) and that because the new phones are on the next generation QNX platform that it made sense to go double digit.

Assuming BlackBerry wants to keep things simple while transitioning away from the legacy BlackBerry OS to the QNX-based OS, it just makes logical sense that we'll see these first two BlackBerry 10 phones launch as Bold and Torch devices.

We could be wrong of course, but when it came to picking up the first full touchscreen BlackBerry 10 phone, we couldn't help but think we were playing with the newest Torch, and with the keyboard device, the newest Bold.

  

What we observed that we can tell you about 

RIM told us that the BlackBerry 10 hardware we were looking at was pretty much final form. We've heard that before over the years, which means there may be some small tweaks that occur as the hardware ramps up from prototype to full scale production, but for the most part the hardware design and components are set.

The full touchscreen phone (what we're currently thinking of as the newest Torch) has that understated yet classy BlackBerry look. It's familiar to the Dev Alpha, but more refined and polished. We like the look a lot. It feels good in the hand. There's nothing disappointing about it. The 4.2" display with 1280x768 resolution hits a sweet spot. It's big, but not too big. Like the Dev Alpha, in the hand the phone is extremely comfortable to hold. 

The full keyboard phone (what we're currently thinking of as the newest Bold), was along the lines of what we've been hoping for and expecting to see. The phone's footprint is similar to the Bold 9900, featuring a 1:1 ratio at 720x720 resolution. As has been previously posted on, we were stoked to see with our own eyes that both devices had removable battery doors.

Both the full touchscreen and keyboard models have that unmistakable BlackBerry look to them, which we all agree is a good thing. In today's sea of smartphones, BlackBerry 10 phones should have no trouble being recognized from a distance. The real magic of BlackBerry 10 happens though in your hand, once you power the device on.

We were blown away with the BlackBerry 10 experience. Considering we're still over four months away from these phones hitting the market, we would have handed over our hard earned cash right now to walk away with one. Between now and January RIM will spend the time polishing up the software so it's perfect, but what we handled was a complete operating system. It was fast, it was fluid and it was FUN to use.

10 things we're looking forward to in BlackBerry 10 so far... 

Prior to our hands-on time with BlackBerry 10 phones, we were already working on our list of the top ten things we're looking forward to in BlackBerry 10. Having now experienced BlackBerry 10 for real, we can tackle this list with conviction. Here it goes, in no particular order... 

1. BlackBerry 10 by Choice

BlackBerry 10 By Choice! 

When RIM showed off the BlackBerry 10 touchscreen keyboard at BlackBerry World (and not a physical keyboard version), it had some people incorrectly assuming this meant that BlackBerry would be abandoning the physical keyboard moving forward. RIM's CEO was quick to go on record the next day and tell the media that there will be a full keyboard version of BlackBerry 10.

We love the fact that BlackBerry is giving users the ability to choose how they want to experience BlackBerry 10. Among the existing BlackBerry user base, for many the physical keyboard is specifically what has kept them from switching to another platform. Having both full touchscreen and physical keyboard models available from the get go makes sure everybody is happy.

As for which model most people will end up migrating towards, we're not so sure just yet. Historically, all of us on the CrackBerry team are huge fans of physical keyboards. After going hands-on with both BlackBerry 10 phones, both Adam and Zach said they're 100% going for the full touchscreen BlackBerry 10 phone when available. On the other hand, James was sold on the physical keyboard model. As for myself... well, I'll just buy both and keep one in each pocket. :)

2. It's all about the "Flow"

I don't think we can overstate just how much we're loving the "flow" experience of BlackBerry 10. It's unlike anything on the market today. One of the previous criticisms against the BlackBerry PlayBook's operating system user interface was that it took a little too much inspiration from webOS. Of course we'd argue that the average person on the street doesn't even know what webOS is, but it was hard to find a review of the PlayBook (CrackBerry's review included) that didn't make mention of the similarities. In our opinion, this previous resemblance goes away with BlackBerry 10.

In BlackBerry 10, RIM has created a user experience that is truly unique. And it's not just unique. It's better. Wayyy better. Taking advantage of the multi-tasking power of the QNX-based software and the high performance hardware under the hood, BlackBerry 10 delivers an "always in" app experience that is faster and so much more compelling than the "open and close" experience which is standard today on other mobile platforms.

There's a big difference between seeing the flow demonstrated and actually putting it to use. Once you start to experience the seconds saved during every interaction with the phone, going back to any other mobile UI feels almost painful by comparison. It only takes a moment to learn the touchscreen gestures that pull the flow experience together. And that's ok. As we've said before, RIM isn't trying to out Apple Apple here in the simplicity department. Rather, they are addressing the needs of BlackBerry People - people who want to get things done while on the go. And it's clear to us that a little bit of time invested upfront in learning a new user interface is well worth it in terms of the enhanced user experience it delivers.

Let us be clear here. We don't want to scare anybody into thinking BlackBerry 10 is complicated either. It's not. Any former or current BlackBerry user will immediately find it familiar. And any first time BlackBerry owner will be able to learn the ins and outs of the new operating system quickly. The flow rocks. PERIOD.

[ Note: The video at the top of this section is from the Dev Alpha demo, and isn't totally "accurate" anymore but at least gives an overview of the concept of Flow ]

3. Unified Messaging FTW

BlackBerry 10 Unified Inbox

BlackBerry phones have a reputation for being the best communication tools on the planet, and thanks to the accessible from anywhere unified inbox on BlackBerry 10, that accolade isn't going away. With BlackBerry 10 you have the ability to jump into your inbox from anywhere on the device -- literally from within any application -- with a quick swipe gesture. We all love this feature and it's one that again makes BlackBerry 10 unique. There's no need to pull down a notification box and tap into a different app. There's no need to go back to the home screen or go into a task switching mode to then jump into another app to check your message. With BlackBerry 10 it's always right there, instantly accessible. Zero time wasted. We love this.

4. The BEST keyboards, whether physical or touch

BlackBerry 10 Keyboard on the Dev Alpha

BlackBerry is already known for having the best physical keyboards on the market (the Bold 9900 has the best phone keyboard of all time), and with BlackBerry 10 they also want to be known for having the best touchscreen keyboard on the market. From our experience so far with BB10 keyboards, they're definitely on track.

The BlackBerry 10 touchscreen keyboard was pretty good on the Dev Alpha demo, but the performance is much improved on the actual BlackBerry 10 hardware and software (on the Dev Alpha device the touch keyboard was actually written in Adobe Air. Since then it has been re-written in OpenGL which combined with actual BB10 hardware makes a big difference - it's much faster, responsive and smooth). The physical size of the touchscreen device makes for a spacious keyboard that permits comfortable and speedy two thumb typing. As we mentioned earlier, we are longtime physical keyboard guys but we had no trouble adapting almost instantly to the BlackBerry 10 touchscreen keyboard.

Overall, it's a great touchscreen typing experience. RIM is working with SwiftKey for the predictive text engine, but the UI and design of the keyboard is all RIM. They've taken what they've learned from over a decade of making the best physical keyboards and applied that knowledge to the touchscreen. RIM knows people are looking at the keys when they type, so they have placed suggested words near the keys you'll be hitting next (having to break eye contact from the keys to look up at a row above the keyboard breaks your typing flow). Brilliant. When typing with two thumbs we actually found our cadence so fast and typing so rhythmic that we didn't feel the need to use the suggestions that appear on the keyboard all that often unless it was for bigger and harder to spell words (for the most part our thumbs are typing faster than our brains can process the suggestions). However, when holding the phone in one hand and typing with one thumb we found the placement of these suggested words to be extremely useful at increasing our typing speed. Again, BlackBerry 10 offers choice. Whether you type one handed or two-handed, you're supported.

The touchscreen keyboard is also smart and continually learning. As you type it learns where you actually strike on the glass and refines your strike targets over time for improved accuracy. The keyboard can scan your communications to better learn names and vocabulary that you use regularly. The touchscreen keyboard can support three languages simultaneously too. So for those people who tend to mix languages in while messaging will easily be able to do so. And yes, Chinese will be supported at launch. Like we said, so far it appears this touchscreen keyboard has the ability to make believers out of the most hardcore physical keyboard people.

As for the physical keyboard, we have to keep the details limited. But let's just say RIM knows how high a bar they set with the Bold 9900's keyboard, and that's something they don't want to go any lower on.

5. Optimized for one-handed ease of use

Another hallmark of the traditional BlackBerry experience that users love is the ability to use the phone one-handed. Back in the day I'd cite examples such as using the phone inconspiculously under the board room table during meetings or in the car while driving (not cool, we know). These days, as I learned from Gary Klassen, Principle Architect at RIM, on my recent trip to Waterloo, a better illustration of the need for one-handed use takes place in the grocery store. You need to be able to message back and forth with your wife to figure out what you're supposed to buy for dinner while holding your grocery basket and screaming toddler in one arm. This means you need to be able to communicate and carry out important tasks effectively with just one hand.

BlackBerry 10 is designed and optimized for one-handed ease of use. If you want to use the device with two hands you can, but you absolutely can have full control over the phone holding the phone in one hand, comfortably using one thumb on the touchscreen to get things done. We can't get into all the specifics, but we can say this notion is continued throughout BlackBerry 10, beyond the home screen and flow experience.

This is yet another unique to BlackBerry 10 feature that we are gaga for. Other mobile platforms think of mobile as meaning "away from your computer." BlackBerry takes the meaning of being mobile literally - you need to be able to really use your phone while literally being mobile, while doing things. It's a phone and OS designed for people on the go. BlackBerry 10 does not require that you stop what you're doing to use your phone.

6. QNX Performance, Stability and Simplicity

There are 78+ million BlackBerry phone users in the world. In comparison, there's (approximately) two million BlackBerry PlayBook owners out there. This means the vast majority of current and former BlackBerry phone owners have never fully experienced how different a BlackBerry device built on the QNX platform is compared to the traditional BlackBerry OS. The difference is HUGE. The QNX-based BlackBerry OS is a power house among mobile operating systems. All of the historical gripes about BlackBerry phones -- hour glassing, the need for battery pulls, not enough app memory, pain in the butt OS updates, etc. -- all go away with BlackBerry 10.

In terms of underlying code, BlackBerry 10 is all new compared to BlackBerry 7 and older phones. Visually there is continuity -- people who know BlackBerry will recognize it as BlackBerry -- but none of the baggage is carried over. And while the traditional BlackBerry OS was never designed from the get go for touchscreen input (RIM adapted it to be touchscreen friendly), BlackBerry 10 has absolutely been designed as a touchscreen OS.

It's a next generation platform for BlackBerry, and those making the jump from the old platform to the new are going to be extremely impressed by the performance, stability and simplicity that come with this change.

7. Designed for people who value their time and want to have fun

"We need tools, not toys." The Martinez brothers dropped that line during a Be Bold BlackBerry commercial earlier this year, and the message resonated with the CrackBerry community. Over the years BlackBerry has always been seen as a communication and productivity tool first and foremost. With BlackBerry 10 phones, BlackBerry can now be as unproductive as it can be productive, equally well. It still excels at productivity and communication. But you can most definitely use it to have fun and kill time, whether it's playing games (BlackBerry 10 is a great platform for gaming) or watching a movie. What we're loving about BlackBerry 10 is that it never loses sight of its priorities. It's a tool first, toy second. But it does everything 100%.

All of us who went hands on with BlackBerry 10 have also spent plenty of time on the competition, be it Android, iOS and even Windows Phone and webOS. And though there are things we like about the competition, when we use these other devices we always feel like there's something missing from the experience that BlackBerry does a better job of delivering. Our collective realization is that the other platforms don't think enough about how you will actually use the phone while out and about and they tend to treat all apps equally. They don't prioritize the mobile experience enough.

BlackBerry historically, and even more so in BlackBerry 10, doesn't lose sight of the fact people first and foremost want a smartphone to communicate and get things done. We've already mentioned the many ways BlackBerry 10 pays attention to these priorities. The BlackBerry flow experience saves you time. Unified messaging that's accessible from everywhere does too, and it makes it painless to always stay on top of your correspondence even while doing other things. Designing a user interface that's friendly to one handed use is another example where BlackBerry is paying attention to how people will actually use their phone in the real world. Heck, even the ability to swap out a battery if need arises is a nod to this notion of being a tool before a toy.

BlackBerry 10 is for people who value their time. Not everybody out there does, but we're sure happy RIM is building BlackBerry 10 phones for people who do.

  

8. Working Smarter, Not Harder 

On the current BlackBerry phone OS, there are a couple of areas where RIM has tried to be really clever in terms of helping out the user. The best example is on the BlackBerry menu. When you hit the menu button, though multiple options are available it's often the one you want that's already selected (this was more prevalent on older devices and versions of the BBOS). Heck, with the old track wheel BlackBerry devices like the 7290 and 8700 these pre-selected actions were so freakishly accurate you could almost use the phones with your eyes closed. It's a subtle feature, but these kinds of details make a world of difference on device like a phone which gets used literally 100+ times per day.

BlackBerry 10 makes a marked return to this notion of working smarter for the user. We already mentioned the intelligence behind the learning keyboard. Another thing we're liking (that we can talk about) is the way BlackBerry 10 tries to pull in useful information for you without making you go look for it. The prime example is in the calendar app. If you have a meeting scheduled with an individual, BlackBerry 10 pulls in everything it can find about that contact from the various social sources connected to it so it's right there. Again, we can't get into the details, but there are a lot of little things like this in BlackBerry 10 that users will appreciate.

9. Quality App, Gaming and Multimedia Experiences

The BlackBerry 10 platform is capable of delivering app, game and multimedia experiences that are best in class across mobile platforms. It's a massive difference comparing BlackBerry 10 phones to current BlackBerry phones. While BlackBerry phones to date don't technically lack much in the way of features and capabilities, the experience delivered trying to use these features to their fullest is often frustrating. Because of this, you find a lot of "average" BlackBerry users don't use their BlackBerry for much more than the basics. It's clear that BlackBerry 10 phones will deliver a great experience across the feature set. You're going to want to download apps and play games on your BB10 phone. You're going to want to snap a bazillion photos and videos. You're going to want to watch movies. And way more.

The ongoing challenge for RIM of course is getting as many quality third party apps and games on the platform as possible leading up to the launch of BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry is doing everything they can to woo developers. The app development tools available are much improved. RIM is giving out Dev Alpha devices to developers who attend BlackBerry Jam events. RIM is proactively working to get those must-have apps onto the platform.

Mobile apps are out there today and they are expected. That being the case, we don't think it's the app selection in App World come January that will cause people to run out and buy a BlackBerry 10 phone, at least not initially. But a lack of apps might prevent potential customers from buying it. We really hope developers continue to jump on board and support BlackBerry 10. There's no doubt to us that BlackBerry 10 has legs and the people who buy the phones are going to be hungry for apps, games and content. Next month RIM is holding the BlackBerry Jam Americas conference in San Jose, where we'll hopefully get a good update on how they're progressing. If you're a mobile developer and reading this, listen to us... you need to get your apps on BB10!   

10. Putting the crack back in CrackBerry... in a good way 

BlackBerry got the nickname CrackBerry for a reason - because it's addictive. In our limited time spent on BlackBerry 10 so far, we all agree this is the most addicting smartphone experience we've used.. well... EVER.

It's not just the blinking red light that pulls you in anymore. The device is addictive because it's literally so fun and enjoyable to use.

You just want to turn on the phone and aimlessly flick at it even when you're not doing anything. The whole BlackBerry flow, peek and glance experience is not only productive, but fun (and to use Adam's words, "it's swipey"). Even the lock screen, which we can't give any details on, is something you just want to play with. Typing on the touchscreen keyboard is actually addictive. Swiping up words becomes a game.

Historically, and especially in enterprise where individuals have been handed their BlackBerry as a work phone, fun and enjoyable would be the last words used to describe a BlackBerry. But we think that all changes with BlackBerry 10. You can have fun while getting work done. And if there's one thing we all love more than being productive, it's having fun.

We could tell you more but we'd have to kill you

CrackBerry Colt... don't worry, it's a toy gun ;)

Seriously, we could tell you way more and would love to, but we've probably already said too much.

The bottom line is that all of us on the CrackBerry team who went hands on with BlackBerry 10 are genuinely more excited having used the phones than we were going into it (and were pretty excited for it to begin with).

There's no doubt in our minds that BlackBerry 10 will win back a lot of mobile mindshare when it's officially unveiled. We live in a world where every phone will soon be a smartphone, and with BlackBerry 10 RIM will show the world they've created a smarter smartphone experience.

When BlackBerry 10 hits the market it won't be BlackBerry by Choice. Our new mantra will be BlackBerry because it's Better.

Reader comments

Many hands on BlackBerry 10 Phones: Ten things we're looking forward to so far

333 Comments

Fantastic! This is a genuine CrackBerry Kevin review! It's too bad you can't get into any more details or show pictures, but this is definitely enough to salivate over until at least next month when we see live demos of the OS!

I gotta say... I'm disappointed that of all the buttons that are gone, the trackpad is gone as well. I don't care what anyone says (I have an iPhone and a Blackberry, used Android and other all-touch devices) but selecting text and moving the cursor is way faster with the trackpad. It will be truly missed.

Now I'll have to wait until the BB10 with QWERTY is in stores so I can get it in my hands and try it. At that time I'll decide whether to get the BB10 QWERTY or buy two BB 9900s.

Same, bummed there will not be a trackpad! I have the Bold 9900 and iPhone. Love using my Trackpad...

Do we definitely know there is not going to be a trackpad? The finished device is "like" the alpha but polished and refined. Just hoping! :)

I'm going to read the article again but the idea of the trackpad not making it to the BB10 QWERTY device was already shown off in the document leak from a few months back which showcased the functionality of the BB10 OS on the QWERTY devices.

I tried to remain optimistic but, still had that gut feeling they were getting rid of it. :(

Well said!

Here's hoping RIM has some clever alternative.

Killing the trackpad and the physical buttons is terrible move otherwise. My Torch would be useless without them!

I feel the same way, one thing I LOVED about all of my BB's was the fact I could press the shift or the aA key and use the trackpad to swipe to select text. This was a HUGE time saver for me and I really hope this functionality exists in the new BB10 devices.

I totally agree. I always use my trackpad on my 9900 and I wish there was one on the playbook. Even with a stylus, it's hard to touch exactly what I want. I also hate scrolling without a trackpad as I always manage to touch one of the ads on the side of the page. Please bring back the trackpad!

What an awesome tip. Thanks!!! Another reason not to get rid of the track pad. My last BB was a storm. My fat fingers got tired of tapping the small print on the screen. And I did not care to Zoom the screen. Still excited for BB10.

I really hope they hear us and at least make a non-touchscreen model for those who don't want one.

I bought a BlackBerry recently specifically because it didn't have a touch screen.

Yeah, I'm with you on the trackpad. I never thought I'd love it so much on a touchscreen 9860 and 9810, but it is extremely useful and works so well. I'm sure RIM has refined the OS in BB10 to make it "overkill" but I do have some doubts still. The PlayBook doesn't have a trackpad and often I miss it there when editing text.

Love Kevin's preview, however, I wish RIM didn't have any flagship devices at all, and definitely no cheapo devices like Curves. Each BlackBerry should be great. As time passes, the first gen BB10 devices will need updates or newer styling -- thinner or sleeker design, quad-core vs dual-core, etc.

I think RIM should only have 4 devices per year, not 6. In one year, the first generation phones can be sold as is with the latest software. Apple has shown that this strategy works -- a new iPhone 4S or an older iPhone 4 or 3GS at a discount -- no need to engineer, build, and market extra devices for smaller markets. That was necessary for a short time with BB7, but networks and infrastructure in third world countries are changing fast. With all carriers moving to LTE, the rest of the world will catch up rather quickly to demanding the same high performance phones sold in North America, Europe, and Asia.

The top 3 things RIM needs to do to make BlackBerry 10 a success:

1. REBUILD THE BRAND.
This can be done through in-store displays and advertising. If you walk into an Apple authorized reseller, you'll see a special section for iPhone with distinguished signage that is hard to miss. It raises the brand's profile above anybody else. There's no reason why RIM can't do the same for BB10 devices at no expense and/or hassle to resellers.
2. ADVERTISE WITH EMOTIONAL APPEAL.
You may recall seeing two TV spots on CrackBerry, one showing a woman relying on her BlackBerry to assist in successfully setting up her business. The other showed a man creatively using bridge to propose to his girlfriend (a moving spot, even for guys). They're two of the best advertisements not only for handset manufacturers, but ever. Yet they never saw the light of day outside social media. They could still run those commercials worldwide since there is no dialogue. RIM faces a monumental task to get the message through in a meaningful way.
3. EMPOWER SALESPEOPLE.
Offer specific one-on-one training sessions in person for resellers. Put the devices in the hands of every single salesperson in the world at launch (with the option to keep it for free; if not they hand them in as a previously used device). Retailers would order a specific amount of handsets exclusively for their frontline staff. RIM would provide them free of charge. If it means supplying one handset to sell three or four more, so be it. No other company is doing this; RIM would be the first!

There are surely more things that can be done. RIM needs to leave no stone untouched to see tangible growth in 2013.

As much as i'm happy to know more details about BB10, my anxiousness for these devices to launch is getting ridiculous. I wish i could be frozen in time and transported to 2013 sometimes.

It IS hard, REALLY hard (i'm talking about the waiting ),but knowing they are taking the time to get it right...that makes it all worthwhile.
Remember : X-mas comes but once a year,
BB X comes but once a decade! :)

Of course its worse for you Kevin. You have seen and played with the phones and new os...thats the worst torture yet. We have to rely on our imaginations while you have a concrete picture that makes you toss and turn everynight. BASTARD!!!!!

You got that right' my suspense and anxiousness and Patience are running out!! I can see the bottom of the bucket! LOL!

and productivity around the globe stopped as at August 30 , 1:00 PM PST to read this article. Thanks.

This is great stuff. Good review kevin. Im icthing with excitement. Im Curious to know how QNX handles multitasking On the BB10 devices. Does it still force closes the app if it runs out of memory?. U mentioned so much things going on within the platform, without a doubt 1G a memory will be insufficient for the multitasking, the swiping, the keyboard functions througout the platform, how the platform searches for data and try to integrate evereything. I really hope they bump it up to atleast 2 G. Also i do hope they change the flagship names, we are moving forward ... Make the Torch burn brighter "Phoenix" and the Bolder bold.

I like how RIM is developing something new, refreshing but relevant!

They are truly innovating!

I'm sure the iOS/Android crowd will eventually get sick of the same UI with apps that you have to close and re-open. The same old user experience that hasn't changed for years.

RIM is creating something that has evolved from that. I'm really looking forward to tihs!

My wife is gamely stumbling along with a Storm that she refuses to trade in until a) her 3 year term is up in January and b) the BB10 full-touch device is released.

I was fortunate enough to bring home a Dev Alpha from the Vancouver Jam yesterday and she was VERY impressed with the form-factor (despite my firm reminder that it wasn't the final hardware).

I'm actually pretty impressed myself; it's light, a good size for single-hand operation, and feels solid. If the final handset is a refinement of this design, RIM could do worse...

"Assuming BlackBerry wants to keep things simple while transitioning away from the legacy BlackBerry OS to the QNX-based OS, it just makes logical sense that we'll see these first two BlackBerry 10 phones launch as Bold and Torch devices.

We could be wrong of course, but when it came to picking up the first full touchscreen BlackBerry 10 phone, we couldn't help but think we were playing with the newest Torch, and with the keyboard device, the newest Bold."

If you are trying to convince a public that you are are doing something really new and interesting - why are you going to link it to the past by recycling old device names? I would think (and hope) they make a clean break especially if there is nothing (as Heins said) of BB7 in BB10 why make the link in the mind of the consumer?

Thought about this too of course. But Bold, Torch and Curve are very strong brands. Already well established. I think it's probably easier to convey one new message - that BlackBerry 10 is freak'n awesome, then it is to start fresh building brand equity around a bunch of new device families. If it was only one phone, maybe. But if there's a full touch, a keyboard version, a couple entry level models, etc., it's less confusing to just build the dramatic change around BlackBerry 10 than everything else in the mind of the consumer. Again.. could be wrong. It' just sort of makes too much sense for me to be wrong. Plus again... they said BB10 will proliferate the portfolio. To me that means the existing product family portfolio - Bold / Torch / Curve.

I could sort of see this with bold and torch but to be honest the 'curve' name (and I know I'll get shouted down for this) brings to mind rioters/drug-dealers, teenaged girls and parents buying phones for their kids - at least in the UK - I would think it's a bit bargain basement sounding to stick on a BB10 phone.

"But Bold, Torch and Curve are very strong brands. Already well established." Although I agree with your reasoning, the current line up is realy only well established among the BB savvy/faithful. To many (dare I say most) others they represent an old dying breed of phone that have been the source of media ridicule and abandonment. I personally would like to see new device names, not the coded "geographic" names during development (London, Nvada, Milan, etc...) but something that screams performance yet exudes professionalism...any ideas?

I really like the idea of taking the Torch name further and calling it the Phoenix (as was previously suggested in this thread). There is a lot of symbolism there that they could market,rebirth and redemption. This might be a stretch, but I can see a commercial where the old torch burns to ashes and the new bb10 all-touch comes out of it. It's a whole new animal.

As far as a name for the new Bold, I think a step up from being bold could be Fierce, or something along those lines. I can see bb10 9900esk monster being called the BlackBerry Fierce.

Of course I'm no marketing expert, I'm just spit-balling. What do you guys think? Kevin? Adam?

I agree about new names as well. I feel RIM needs to make a clean break to prevent anyone, reviewers especially, from being able to say "same old".

And my understanding is the "Be Bold" campaign has not been so successful that there is value in keeping the 'Bold' name to leverage on it for BB10.

I will agree with Bold, and Curve. Both are iconic device names that have a history of great devices behind them. Torch? The first one was junk. Then they went and fractured it after it already became synonymous with slider BlackBerry by adding the 9850/60 which DUE TO BEING CALLED TORCH were completely and totally overlooked in the market. The 9810 didn't sell well. RIM totally screwed up the Torch brand. The Full touch should have an all new name since RIM felt that people hated the Storm name so much they decided to give the 9860 a name that ensured no one would ever know it existed. The name isn't as old as Bold and Curve. The name isn't well known outside AT&T in the USA. That one can go.

Not impossible that "Bold" could be the "high-spec" line designator, with a "Bold Touch" and a "Bold Type".

I don't know if Torch and Curve are particularly strong brands, though, and I think RIM can look to new identities there.

I like the idea of the Bold Touch, but I think the qwerty should be called the Bold Key. So many "unlock..." marketing possibilities.

I agree on Torch, I like the Blade name better for a slider.

But I think they could make do with the Curve Touch and Curve Key as well. Curve is still a strong name in a lot of areas around the world.

I think: a)the vast majority of the phone buying public (especially in North America)is unaware of the existence of the Bold 9900 and b) of those that are aware of its existence few are aware it is a touch screen phone.
I like Bold T
and Bold Q for the two high end phones

Bold to indicate spec level and T and Q to indicate UI type

I wonder if there will be two curve models.

One fullscreen, and one with a keyboard?

If so, they will have to maintain the 1280x720 and 720x720 screen res.

If it is marketed correctly connecting the New BB10 (insert name)to the old legacy brands (Bold etc.)It can get the message across that its everything BB was but its also very new and advanced. I fear that the average person will look at the BB10 Bold and not figure out its a totally new OS. Only see the name Bold. Lets do a campaign like "In the tradition of BlacBerry Bold we bring you everything you loved about BB and everything you ever wanted in a smart Phone. Its the all new (insert name) Make a very solid connection as a bridge but make sure you get the message across that its a totally new device. I say give it a new name. My 2 Cents

The names are confusing as it is now because the double identity RIM put on all series of blackberry. The numbers and the name (like mine, 9550 and Odin). And even within the same name it sometime have two different type. Torch have sliders and full touchscreen. Curve also have qwerty and full touchscreen version. To me Torch is the slider version while Monza is the full touchscreen. Curve, are the Gemini alike qwerty while the touchscreen is Orlando. I can only see Bold as the strongest name among all. It has always been qwerty.

I say blackberry10 needs a simple name that will not be confused with the older series. It needs a new name. Drop the numbers please, it's confusing.

Off topic, I just saw a picture posted by a facebook employee on his account showing a building with a giant poster inside. The writings on the poster is ”PROCEED AND BE BOLD”. I couldn't help myself to post a comment ”Yess! Be Bold! -blackberry by choice-” :D

While I partially agree, I have to go with Kevin.
Don't leave the Bold, Torch (Storm), Curve name line.
Perhaps they can add the letter 'X' after each series or before the number. Eg:
Bold X1
Torch X-Flow
Curve X-Travaganza
And so on..

When they succedded in this. They should put the next Porsche Design PLUS the new Pearl (for the ladies).

BlackBerry by Choice

completely AGREE! Love the "X-Factor".. (great pun, pats himself on the back)

PLUS...it ties into the QN"X"..

Great idea but really can't be used due to moto owning the DROID "x", moto "q" brands, and they could not use "n" as well because of nokia owning the "n" series devices. Although I love the Bold, Torch, and Curve line I think they need to have all new lines. Something that says performance, elegance, and flow.

ooooh...

I actually really like the "X" idea. Familiarity, but with differentiation. Also gives it a bit of edginess, so people know that this isn't your dad's old 7200.

It's cool these days to add a letter after the brand name and everyone else just adds an 'S' so that could definitely be a good approach since non-BB users can't keep track of model numbers anyway.

It's cool these days to add a letter after the brand name and everyone else just adds an 'S' so that could definitely be a good approach since non-BB users can't keep track of model numbers anyway.

My contract expires November 23rd. Hoping we see a VERY early Q1 launch!! Rooting for RIM here, just picked up a PB for a bargainous £129 in the hope that I'll be rocking BB10 on it before too long.

As long as it's robust enough in software and hardware, it'll be able to stand up to every day use. I don't care, nor does anybody else, about premium.

Kevin,

Question for you. I loved the demo of the full touchscreen BB10 device's keyboard. Watch him flip words up to the screen was awesome. My question is how will this feature be executed in the physical keyboard device ? Will the predictive text be at the top like on the PlayBook and you just tap the word you want or will flip the word up to the message being written?

Most exciting article I've read in a quite a while!
Just super stoked right now.

Pretty sure I will switch to the full touch, just because I won't be able to wait the extra days/weeks until keyboard model comes out. Or I'll do Kevin's approach and get 'em both.

This article has really got me excited for the new BlackBerry. Last week's lawsuit showed consumers have 1.5 OS' to choose from on the smartphone leaderboard :). Innovation and playing to its communications strengths, there's some good decisions going on in Waterloo.

Dammit man I was reading this post to get more details about the physical keyboard and you skipped that part!! :@:@

How does the phone feels without the trackpad? Is it replaced by something else on the screen??

It'll be all swipe. Gestures are the greatest thing since Optimus Prime!
I sometimes find myself swiping my 9900 because I use it as my PB's remote so often, I'm just used to swiping now.

If you've never swiped before, you'll quickly become a 'how the hell did I do this before?' person.

I can just picture my Bold with the PB OS.....type swipe swipe....type....swipe some more. OH YA!!!

A really great read.

Shame that the usual bb buttons and trackpad will be gone from the new bold...

But, change can be good!

Do I get a 9900 or just hold out a bit longer...when in 2013 are they 'due'?

I was hearing January for the touchscreen and probably February for the qwerty. I think March 2013 would be a little too far for RIM to wait. I would like them to be available for purchase at Christmastime -- preorder for delivery in January. I think RIM knows what's at stake. They can't reveal a lot of details about BB10 and wait 6 more months to deliver.

What I want to know is.. Have they fixed the Loooonnnnnnnnggg Boot up time of QNX?

Playbook is nasty slow, I hope the phone won't be like that.

why does it matter? How often do you turn your PB off?

I RARELY turn mine off & I'ts only ever crashed once.....that was due to a program bug...others I know have had their PB's crash while playing that game too

A 1.5 min bootup is ok for me if I only ever have to do it once ;)

......though depending on how long the battery lasts I guess I will be rebooting it more then my PB when I switch batteries

1.5m ? I wish. My playbook boot up time averages 5m (has since I got it). I'd say I have to reboot about 1-2 times a week (mostly due to docs-to-go errors, or bluetooth/wifi), but it's usually when I really need it and the boot time is embarrassing when with others (others = RIM bashers).

When I timed mine I got
1:28 to start up
3:04 to reboot.

They seem to take just as long to shutdown as they do to boot up.....actually looking at those numbers, maybe a bit longer to shutdown

Those boot times are the access speeds for the SSD. SSD's usually have less read/write speeds than hard disks.

Wow, I've never heard anyone claim that SSD's have slower read/write speeds than hard disks... lol.

Could feel myself shouting "yes!" inside as I read the article. Sounds like RIM have innovated in a big way and I can't wait.

Sent from my BlackBerry PlayBook

Anyone notice that in the unified messaging screenshot under SMS/MMS the word "received" is spelled wrong?

Also can't wait for BB10 :)

HaHa. Yea that is a good catch. I wonder how many people scrolled back up to check and then instinctively thought to themselves "i before e excepct after c" LoL

Kevin: Do you envision a hybrid device in the product lineup like the current Torch 9810/9800 (large touchscreen + full keyboard)? I love the blackberry keyboard, but older eyes need the larger screen.

It's possible. I believe Heins said in another interview another "high end" device would come mid year. A slider could fit that bill. Not sure though. BlackBerry Milan was previously rumored to be a slider, then word was that was dropped. Maybe to be replaced by a newer design slider? The market success of the sliding form factor phone hasn't been crazy successful, but if anybody could make a killer slider it would be RIM with a BB10 slider.

To be fair the original torch (which I had) looked like an old fuddy duddy the day it cam out.

I think if they made a modern looking slider it might sell fairly well. Really depends on how good the all touch keyboard is. Slider are basically people saysing I want a full screen but I NEED a keyboard. Maybe with BB10 they won't be saying that.

I remember when the Torch first came out. I was super exited. Got one a day or 2 after the came out. I did NOT like it at all :(

First it was BBOS6 which I never liked...BBOS7.1 is GREAT though

2nd, I didn't like the time it took me to flip it open. I know it only took a second, but those seconds add up when your trying to be productive.........Though when I wasn't doing anything I use to love playing with the phone, sliding it open, closed, open, closed, over & over again lol

I quickly left the torch & went back to my Bold 9700

I'll want to hold on to my 9800 until theres a BB10 slider to replace it, but not sure how long i'll be able to keep justifying not going switching to the full touchscreen if RIM dont get one out fairly soon after BB10 launch.
If I do go full touch then that means i've less reason not to go for another brand.

I think RIM are insane for not going with a full range simultaneous launch, especially after having to delay BB10 a few months.

to either Zach, Adam, or James...

Did any of you test out the quality of the pictures that were taken on either device? I know we saw a demo of it back when they were showcasing it's features, but I wanted to know how it looked from an actual device.

I take a lot of of pics, and I strongly felt that the Bold 9900 truly was hurt with such a weak camera.

I hope either device will not suffer the same fate.

This is really important to me as well. A high quality camera is on the top of my list when looking for a new phone. Kevin, can you give us any further details regarding this?

That's something we can't actually discuss. What I can say is that the feature it provides and the quality is amazing :). I know CrackBerry Nation will be impressed with what RIM has been working on.

few things jump out to me in this post, hints maybe ?

1) "Mobile apps are out there today and they are expected. That being the case, we don't think it's the app selection in App World come January that will cause people to run out and buy a BlackBerry 10 phone, at least not initially." The mention of January is one.

2.) "And like the Dev Alpha, BlackBerry 10 phones are micro all around: microUSB, microHDMI, microSIM, etc.. " I hope the dot dot dot mean microSD to :D

Anyways im super excited and im straight up buying both the touch and QWERTY and will switch back and forth. :D

I guess that means that Kevin Leaked a bit more info then he meant to.

I take that to mean that YES the new BB10 devices DO have MicroSD cards :)

I'm so freakin excited! I have a bold 9930 but I feel like to get the full BB10 experience is to get the 4.2 inch touchscreen. Ill just have to wait and see what they feel like when they come out.

Ditto.

I love the keyboard on my 9900, but a full touch device is so much better for a lot of things, especially now that so many things are being optimized for full touch devices. This is especially true with my big, clumsy thumbs, which make utilizing a 2.8" touchscreen difficult at best.

The lack of a trackpad will make things even harder, so I'm thinking about ditching the keyboard altogether. I feel a little more confident about this after trying out my wife's 9860. I can only imagine that the BB10 software keyboard would only be better.

Kinda bummed there will not be a Trackpad, I love using it! Makes scrolling, copy and paste and a lot of things faster / easier to use. I have the Bold 9900 and hardly use the touchscreen.

I LOVE my Bold, wish the Battery and Camera were better. Any hints on these two specs?

Assuming that 1800mAh is legit-though I have my doubts; the trend is "thin" and that doesn't allow for much battery-I think we would expect very reasonable battery life. My wife has a 9860, also a full-touchscreen device, and she get a solid 1-2 days of average use with the 1230mAh JM-1. I was getting an easy 3, sometimes 4, days from the 1550mAh DX-1 in my old 8900. The Bold 9700 also had a 1550mAh battery, and its battery life is legendary.

Granted, the additional processing power of BB10 devices would cut into it a bit, as well as the larger screens, but I still think 1800mAh would be more than sufficient.

But, again, I'm not going to hold my breath.

SO jacked up after reading this article. Everyone forgets that RIM INVENTED the smartphone.

BB10 is going to make other platforms look like absolute childs-play

THE RIMPIRE IS BACK

ok that's enough fanboy for today.

As great and unique as this OS is, I don't know anyone who isn't planning on getting the next iPhone or the next Nexus or the next Lumia. I know someone who's waiting for the S3 to be updated to Jelly Bean then he's going to get it.

Can't wait though.

I dont need JUST a communications device anymore; I need a communications device AND one that can handle up-to-date graphics in terms of games and does not compromise in the application department from developers - name brand developers.

As a phone, I have no doubt that the device will will successfully communicate. I have no doubt that texting, email, twitter, facebook, and other forms of social media will be remarkable on the device. My needs will easily be met by the BB10 phone.

Where I do have doubts is whether or not quality gaming; quality apps; and quality media will make their way to the device. I see a lot of talk from RIM on this issue; I see a lot of comments from the Crackberry faithful that RIM has learned its lesson and that name-brand apps are coming. Let's hope that all this talk truly translates into something tangible.

Oh, as to a question, does anyone know whether BB10 phones will support wi-fi file sharing as the Playbook does? I really like not having to physically connect my Playbook to the my computer to transfer media and I'm hoping that BB10 phones will also do this as well.

Hey Kevin: I don't know if you'll read this because you are a very busy man and have more important things to do than to read what is written here, but let me say.... For a few weeks, things were strangely quiet here on CrackBerry. I was beginning to wonder if your absence had a good explanation, which of course it does, and now we know why! Thank you very much for a thorough and well written article about your first impression of BB10 and the hardware without violating the trust of RIM. Keep it that way - respectful and professional. Thanks again, and ROCK on RIM and CrackBerry Team.

I'm a BB fan, and I will have an all touch BB10 device, I only wonder/worry how many other people will feel this way. I know it's been said before, but think about how many people who will renew a contract in Sept, Oct. Nov, Dec because of the new iphone, Win 8 phone, latest Android super phone, not to mention the amount of people off contract now just waiting for these phones to come to market.

Of course there are people whose contract will end in Jan '13 (assuming that's when BB10 phones are launched), but the momentum (media, friends, family) of people buying these other devices might just be too much to overcome. I hope not.

RIM is in a tough spot; do they wait to unveil BB10 until they're ready to sell the phone (an approach they haven't really taken, but most people think they should, a la Apple), or do they spill the beans with the hope that people will take note and wait until Jan, but lose the impact of a dramatic reveal and instant availability.

I have always known from when i was with RIM that QNX was going to be the saviour and lifeblood of the company I was a very late adopter into BlackBerry but once i held one in my hand i knew right than and there it wasnt the feature base or apps i really wanted it was the communication ability always on always avail when needed.

With all this i am still torn i dont know if i want the full touch or the keyboard hopefully i can test both and see more than likely leaning towards touch due to the screen realestate. But even still someone would have to prye my 9900 out of my cold dead hands lol.

All i have to do is control F and type Sky and there we are... Mums the word on it right now officially, and I'm not sure if Kevin and others have seen it running yet.. but it is there...

You might not meant it.

I am sick and tired of bashers making maximum noise on Skype as if that is the only thing in the world. There is other if you care to look. It is called ComWave.

ComWave has a SIP client for the Playbook. It provides VOIP.

Another unknown treasure is the online or offline map with turn-by-turn navigation with rerouting capability called OSMAND. Better than Google navigation if you care to look for it, instead of blindly complaining there is no Skype and this and other apps.

Sorry if you didn't mean to bash.

I'm actually a paid subscriber to ComWave, and it's not that great: Unresponsive gui, too many dropped calls, other problems as well.

Also tried ReelPortal and just about anything else I could find.

Better to assume positive than negative. How asking if anyone has info about a significant application for BB10 counts as bashing is beyond me.

Those are major well known apps that are on other platforms that are still missing on BB. RIM not having them and people looking for them does damage to the brand. That is why the faithful keep demanding them.

I believe it will be the availability of apps that will either make BB10 a success or failure. I understand there are a number of BlackBerry faithful that will snap up the new device and by happy with it. But to become a viable player again, RIM is going to have to convince iPhone/Android users to give up their current phones and become BlackBerry users. The most advanced OS and best designed hardware is not going to be enough if the apps people want are not available for the BB devices.

I was getting stoked reading until T'Pol popped up on my screen. Then I thought "What was I reading again?" Jolene Blalock. Bad as hell!!! She's the BB10 of Vulcan chick's! I'd "assimilate" her all day!!!!!

SOOOO PUMPPPEEEDDD

i don't want to wait 5 months for a BB10 phone but i'm goign to have to. thanks for the artical kevin i also think i'm going touchscreen over the physical keyboard i have loved since my curve 8900

They called it BB10 because their original idea was BBX (BlackBerry QNX), which was a genius idea. Only problem, they forget to check if BBX was trademarked (it is), and they forgot to license the name, or attempt to buy the trademark. So BBX became BB10.

What I read from this is that all communication stuff is integrated in one screen, but for apps like game your going to swipe over and go in and out. Maybe I'm wrong, it isn't a big deal.

I think a natural focus on the "flow" communications aspect would be to market this as a Blackberry return to an executive/ work phone. It's too bad Mike and Jim messed this up by labeleing the Playbook the first Enterprise grade or Business Grade tablet, destroying all credibility in that kind of statement.

Don't get me wrong I'm buying a new BB10 phone on day 1 and if it doesn't have all the apps I on't give a damn I'll just get a nexus 7, or anyway I'll have a MSFT Surface by then.

RIM makes the best damn communication devices on the planet and that's what I want in my pocket. I can get other machines that will give me more than enough to play with.

I really hope my 2 year old 9800 can make it until the BB10 phones come out. I may end up having to use my 8900 curve if it doesn't. lol

As I read this article the launch of the initial iPhone kept coming to my mind... As in revolutionary.
I really hope that wasn't the inherent bias you have in you that wrote this article Kevin but if you really meant what you said then I don't think we have anything to worry about regarding Rim's future XD nevertheless really excited!!!

Are you sure you have the resolution of the touch screen phone correct. I think it is 1280X720. You have the resolution of the dev alpha device, which I think is different.

The first BB10 phone will be 1280x768. BB10 touchscreen phones after that will be 1280x720 and keyboard phones 720x720.

They were too far along with the design process to switch now to 1280x720, thus the first phone will be 1280x768.

After lurking on this site for about a year, this article compelled me to register and make my first post. I know how much I can't stand to read some of the nonsense others post, but need to "contribute" as some members like to say.

I will start by saying that I am whole-heartedly Blackberry By Choice! I am a business owner and simply could not imagine functioning without my BB (& BES). I’ve been down this long hard road waiting for BB10 like all other fans on this site and was very close to abandoning ship after RIM failed to get their act together time after time. Although the wait has been painful, I have always been convinced it would be worth it. Finally starting to see everything come together has me so pumped I can hardly wait. Blackberry WILL be #1 again with BB10! I am sure of this!

My Bold 9930 and Playbook will keep me happy until Q1 ’13. GO RIM! GO BLACKBERRY! GO TEAM CRACKBERRY! LETS ROCK AND ROLL THIS!

You stated you would have happily paid for one of these devices when you saw them. Does that mean you disagree with RIM waiting untill 2013 to release it. Assuming what you saw is roughly what would have been released in a month from now, the original schedule

Sounds freakin awesome. My only complaint is i hope your vulcan intuition is wrong about the names of the devices. RIM needs to start fresh and give their phones new names. Torch is a silly name, and bold is tired.

Awesome write up Kevin. I am soooo jealous you guys get to see them 5-6 months before we do. Pictures soon PUHHHLEEESSSSSSS LOL

BB 10...Boldly taking over!

Great article. And you have your first advertisement in your missive.

"BlackBerry - a smarter smartphone" or
"Choose BlackBerry for a smarter smartphone experience"

Looking forward to the devices coming out.

Here trolly trolly trolly....what...no trolls? Huh imagine that. Nothing for a troll to say when their favourite OS/hardware is about to become irrelevant in a serious way! So all you sheep and droids out there buy your i5's and SIII's and be cussing yourselves in January when you have years of contract left with sub-par devices.

Mwa ah ah ah!

BB because it's (about to get a whole lot) BETTER!

This is not a good day for trolls..They are upset right now. Some still hoping bb10 does not get released. Thanks God for extra cash flow in the bank..i never had any doubts.

BB 10...Boldly taking over!

I know everyone is happy at reading this (and rightfully so), but let's not loose sight of the fact that the release is MONTHS away and even if it's as good as reported it doesn't mean BB is still not in a world of trouble. We are not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination.

You're right, release is still months away. However I have never truly believed that RIM was in SERIOUS trouble. Yes, their marketshare is dwindleing, BUT when the market is growing by millions per year, the SHARE% is skewed a little because the # of actual subscribers is up. That being said, iOS and Android are gaining a lot more subscribers than BB but I've read in many forums that there are those just waiting to defect back to BB if/when BB10 goes live. As well, there's also the many (dare I say millions) that will never leave BB, and upgrade to a BB10 device as well when they become available or shortly there after. What I'm really getting at is compared to the big 2 OS makers right now that haven't innovated really anything in their new releases, BB10 will (IMO) be revolutionary in its design and functionality and will have people flocking back in time when they start noticing the abilities of the new BB devices and OS. Unless of course WP8 (which I know very little about) actually makes a splash and turns heads due to its release 4 months earlier.

I really hope that RIM starts releasing more info after the competition has their releases to start building up hype. "It's coming and it will be awesome, but we can't say anything" is getting old.

Thanks for this Kevin & Co .... I have been peeing myself to get your feedback from you mentioned you had a hands on the keyboard. This is just immense, I have 100% faith in RIM, but it's nice to see you all so excited and obviously bursting to say more, it shows clearly how strong the device &Software are..... I will be buying both devices on release, keyboard for work and touchscreen for personal contract... For now, rocking the 9860 / PlayBook combo.... GO RIM!!!

God, I hope not. The 9900 sacrificed waaay too much battery life for the sake of "thinness".

Sweet!
I'd been using my BlackBerry Torch 9800 since January 2011, and I will definitely wait for BB10 launch here in Mexico.

I'm really currious about that too...As much as I love the previews that we have seen of BB10, I don't see them working very well on a Tablet

I'm really currious about that too...As much as I love the previews that we have seen of BB10, I don't see them working very well on a Tablet

The previews don't count for 2percent of the whole experience(Kevin said they're not even accurate anymore)... We can't really tell.. I hope they are working on the tablet too since it will eventually run bb10

I'm pretty new to the Blackberry world. My father had one, and I''ve never actually owned one, even though I've definetly used them a lot. The trackpad and bar between the screen and keyboard are unique to the Blackberry experince and I love them. The BB10 touch phone should remain all touch, but at the bottom have that bar with the trackpad and other keys on it at the bottom.

Whatever I do, I will never return to iPhone

It wasn't sneaky. If Mike and Jim were still in charge they would have released the Dev Aplha as a real phone imagine how bad it would have been. We wouldn't even be on here today.

So Kevin...I read this article around 5:30 and then came home to show my wife the picture of the concept keyboard BB10 device but it was gone from the article....or did I dream it was there?? if it was in fact there, why was it removed? I know you had referred to the link as an image of what the actual BB10 keyboard device looked like...

Brothers and Sisters :
When you see stuff in the article...and then it disappears -shshshshshshshshshsh!
Mum's the word!

After reading Kevin write up, four months waiting are too long. BlackBerry BB10 for the twenty 21 century! Don't hate me because I am better!

Kevin, you don't have to break the RIM secret just confirm this for me and I will go away:

1. Do I Have to Fu-king run to get this BB10 phone? Yes or No... Thanks!

I am not a troll my friend. I am the BlackBerry user. I own BlackBerry phone. I just want to make Kevin to say yes run to get it when it is out.

No one is more excited by the prospect of getting one of these jewels in their hands than me. The thing I'm concerned about is this: I know personally at least five people who are using the Bold 9900/30 that are trading for the iPhone 5 in September. Not because they want an iPhone, but because the battery life of the Bold doesn't last the full day. I know that us CrackBerry heads know how to squeeze more juice from them, but the "normal" user does not. They just complain about how awful it is to all of their friends.

I don't know what the battery life projections are for the iPhone 5, or these new BB phones for that matter, but it is truly unfortunate that these new 'Berry phones were delayed. All of these folks will be locked in two year contracts with an iPhone and the only people buying the new BB 10's will be those who are reading this post. I cannot believe the glee in my office of the people waiting for the iPhone 5. It is very disheartening. I do hope that this will turn out good for RIM. I am not looking forward to the media coverage of the lines around the block at the Apple store next month. Sigh.

Bold 9900 has bad battery when compared to OTHER BlackBerrys, but it's still got a BETTER battery then the iPhone 4S & WAY BETTER then Android phones

Any truth to the "Never before seen on a BlackBerry" colour? Or were the devices shown in any colour other then Black? I know you probably can't say what colour(s) but would love to know if there will be a unique option or a little variety.

Great write-up! If it does have expandable memory via sd-card I wonder how much base memory it will include? I could see 16gb for the full tough, 8gb for the keyboard version as people will put fewer movies on the "business" keyboard version.

Too bad Kevin you can't empathize with shareholders the past many quarters. You don't have enough skin in the game to do so. It's been pretty bad for us. The conversation RIM has engaged shareholders in, and continues to do so, has been shameful. What makes the picture even more troubling is we'll have about 4 more months plus of articles like this before shareholders will have anything material to bite into. It's going to get much, much worse before it gets better. Alec Saunders is part right when he sings "Waiting is the Hardest Part". For shareholders it has been "Waiting and Being Left to Dangle is the Hardest Part." The media gets a little peep show for BB10 but what's out there for shareholders? Nada. Epsilon. Maybe it's a blessing. Every time we have a RIM peep show, we get another 5-10% lopped off the top.

In terms of design, the 9900 replacement better have the stainless with the solid plastic backing. Looks better and it is such a solid feel.

I'm not a fan of the rubbery feel like on the Playbook. Needs to have a bit of both worlds in my opinion. People love the 9900 and I'm afraid RIM will not carry over all it's fabulous features, or even most of them.

The trackpad and keyboard are a must, and, my final concern is, I hope the software isn't too much like the playbook. Everyone I know who has a Playbook is pissed because it ALWAYS crashes when you have too many apps open (4 apps or so) and haven't restarted it daily. It's kind of BS for that to happen in this day and age.

I'm afraid you are just perpetuating old news of the version. 1.0 software. If you have ever tried the version 2.0 software, you would not say what you said.

With the version 2.0 software, if there's not enough memory, then the new application wouldn't open, no crash.

Dim wit will expect they can have infinite number of application open, and complaint!

The OS doesnt always crash. QNX prioritize the memory to that app in the foreground and limit to that in the background, thus force closing 1 app or so. And the beauty of QNX is when one app crashes it doesnt normally tie down the entire OS. My playbook was last restarted Aug. 22 21:15:42 and i use it everyday for atleast 12hours.

This article was such a tease. Now I want my BB10 even more and am more confused about touchscreen vs physical keyboard!

First and foremost, I'm a HUGE Blackberry fan and I love their qwerty keyboards but I think when BB10 comes out, I'd love myself a nice 4.2'' touchscreen phone, simply because of how unique this touch experience seems to be and the exciting new touch screen keyboard. Can't wait ! Its about time that RIM to pulls an Apple and comeback.

Not to be a downer... But I was sure hoping they were going mention something about a slider coming. I currently have a Bold, but I am all done playing with 1/2 screens; just like all the other lost BB people. The only reason I chose the Bold over the Torch was because it looked so much sexier. But it sounds like the appearance of the full screeen phone is going to be "understated" as Keven says. So that sucks... Too bad they kept the sexiness for their "old fashioned" 1/2 screen Bold..
Now that there is not going to be a slider intoduced right away, I thought that if I had to "settle" for the full screen I could do it if it looked as nice as the Bold.. But now it sounds like the full screen is just going to look like every other plastic Android out there. As Kevin says it is similar to the very cheap looking Dev Alpha.
I guess I'll just hope that the "M" Series phone being introduced in mid 2013 will be a nice looking slider.

Nice write-up Kevin!!

I can't wait for the official rollout in Q1. Timing is perfect for me too. I'm eligible for an upgrade come November -so I'll have PLENTY of cash to plunk down on all the extra gadgets to go with my new BB10. What really gets me going is that I will also be upgrading my Verizon plan. The new 4G LTE PlayBook will be the perfect Christmas gift from my wife and will hopefully hold me over until I get the new BadBoy10 in my hot little hands.

I can't believe that you actually tried to use the Playbook's lack of sales as a way to promote the QNX os!! (see #6). That is some serious "Baffling with Bullshit", You would put some veteran salesmen/marketers to shame, well done!

Camfella, Are you really that stupid?
What Kevin meant is that for us current PlayBook owners, we already know what QNX will bring.
And that the remaining 76+ million BB owners will soon realize what they've been missing.

So you're assuming that those 76 million B.B. users don't have tablets?
That would make you the stupid one to think that approx. 95% of B.B. users don't have tablets!

That's my point! that contrary to what Kevin states, the vast majority of B.B. users are aware of, yet not impressed with QNX as found on the Playbook.

It may be me...but your math skills are off a bit. 2 million playbook users out of 78 million BlackBerry users isn't exactly a vast majority...its actually only 2.5% of BlackBerry users that know of the QNX OS. Just Sayin'

I guess I'm going to have to explain it. Kevin was implying that because the Playbook has only sold 2 million, yet there are 78 million B.B. users, that means that there are at least 76 million B.B. users who don't know what QNX is about, how great it is. That only makes sense if those 76 million were never in the market for a tablet and therefore would have no reason to check out a Playbook and see how "great" it is!. In essence, claiming that >95% of B.B. users don't have tablets.
I think this is unlikely, I believe that logic dictates that it is more likely that the Playbooks sales are low because people who were in the market for a tablet, including many of those 76 million B.B. users, checked out the options available and rejected the Playbook (QNX)for something they preferred more. (iPad, Android etc.).
For Kevin to attribute poor sales as just a lack of awareness of how great the product is, well, what else would you expect from him. I just call it as I see it, looks like he baffled some of you!

Ass
U
Me.
Or, maybe like the vast majority of people to date,
Aside from iSheep,
Who will buy anything that says
"spoiled fruit "
On the label,
They weren't
In the market
For a tablet.
Comprende?

Kevin "assumes" that all B.B. Users who don't have a Playbook are not even aware of Playbook/QNX, I assume that many of them are aware of Playbook/QNX just not interested. Which is the more logical assumption?

So every time you looking for a product you go into a deep analysis of all the available options? There re tons of tablets out there, and the rumors and boxes and boxes of play books in the stores were good enough to keep ppl from even considering the play book. I have a ton of friends who use BB but have no idea Rim had their own tablet

Excuse Me for parting the way!! I have had all tablets!! I sold the ipad because it was useless for my business, I thought about using it as a picture frame as my Dr's office has done. But selling it has paid for my two Playbooks that are used daily! The Android tablet couldn't handle the work load! PB would have hit the masses right if the people who were first behind it had handled the consumer marketing properly! I find it to meet every expectation I have ever had! As i always have said" Use what makes you happy"! "BB users checked out the options available and rejected the playbook (QNX) for something they more preffered" Yeah glad i did check my options,.. Playbook beat the competion out of the park.

So the L-Series uses a different SOC then the N-Series? I would guess that the N-Series being that is has not been in development as long and will be launching a little later probably has a slightly newer/more powerful SOC then the the L-Series.

Shame if true, cause I want the L-Series and I'm tired of RIM putting lesser specs in their all touch models. Seriously, why does the 9860 only have 4GB of RAM and no NFC? Could have put it in the bottom where it's plastic and kept the cool metal battery cover.

I might have missed this but how big will the BB10 Bold screen be compared to the current BB9900 ?

PS Playbook users need to get back to reality ...I hope that the BB1o phone is better than the PB

Another thing that BB 10 has to really nail is first party apps. The core BB 10 experience with first party apps needs to be there. BlackBerry is really lagging in maps - BB Traffic works well enough but its not as good as what you get out of the box on other platforms. Also Docs to Go needs to be stepped up cause Microsoft isn't going to let Office on Windows Phone stagnate and the version on the Playbook is about as bare bones as it gets. RIM needs to have the only mobile office suite BETTER then Microsofts Mobile version of Office.

Thorsten needs to have the Song Comeback by Redlight King on loop on his BB 10! Cause RIM needs to, in many peoples minds, dig 6 feet up but I know they're gonna get it all back!

Thorsten says he's in it to win and I believe him. He better set his sights on the Tech Giants and aim to beat them all.

I'm sure the hardware is going to be solid and the experience unique. Rim just needs to get all their ducks in a row and get ready to prove to the whole world that innovation is not dead at RIM and that BlackBerry is here to stay!

Do you have any insider knowledge of RIM doing a 3D version of BB Maps/Traffic? Cause while TomTom is providing the maps, I believe that the apps will still be mostly done in house. Apple did the 3D effects for the maps for iOS 6 and just bought the map data from TomTom. Hope RIM does do something similar as that is an area that is lagging on legacy OS phones.

Just... Wow!
I'm (im)patiently waiting for Q1 2013 and have my mind made up for the full touch screen. My Playbook convinced me that touch screen is a suitable replacement for my 9780.

One question that I haven't seen addressed is for all us TMO USA users:

Will the BB10 devices have UMA hardware or will we need to settle for for WiFi calling?

Good prelude of what to expect without breakin the trust elements...BB10 should connote new and refreshing and I can't c how the current names will do that, not least of all "Torch" which is convoluted in failure! Keep the good stuffs coming and I really hope the major apps do come since it's such a deal-breaker, especially for the potential proselytes...

OMG!! Previews!!
Sounds great!! Can't wait for January..
I've been waiting with my old Nokia (since my Android phone got stolen) so that I can get one of those BB10 phones on launch..(Crossed fingers they aren't too costly..)

I have fallen in love with the Flow UI from the demos at World Jam.. I already was a fan of the PB Swipey UI..
Hope RIM has "Patented" the Flow UI already :D

Here is where the Playbook comes in.

Partner with the BB10 keyboard phone, with bridging, you get a full 7" screen and a remote physical keyboard for the Playbook! So you have the best of both worlds.

Not enough? Use the PlayBook HDMI out to output to a HD tv screen of your choosing or a computer monitor.

Currently, I have my PlayBook hooked up to a 21" PC monitor through a HDMI to DVI adapter.

Please, somebody tell RIM not to forget to patent all their designs, swipe moves, form factor just in case, etc. If someone wants the BB experience, buy one.

The lock screen you couldn't talk about, but you said is fun... I'm guessing it's the rhythm tapping on different parts of the screen that we saw patent for a while back.

Also... I think there should be new names for these phones... Have to show that these are new. Something like the BlackBerry Grand for the physical keyboard and the BlackBerry Burst for the virtual.

How is swiping sideways to a unified inbox much different from swiping down to a notification centre? The notification center will even give you access to more than just "messaging" apps.
Somebody else was asking how do you get to apps. other than messaging apps? How do you"flow" to non messaging apps?

The notification bar is just notifications. If you click one of the notifications, it then opens the messages app. With BB10, the swiped message app is the actual fully functional app. That's one less step to get to the app.

According to the images above, once you swipe to the side, you're still faced with a choice of what to click, whether it's Facebook, email, SMS etc. Just to correct you above, when you click on a notification in the notification bar, it will open the APP where the notification came from, it could be any app, not just a message app.

The point is you don't have to swipe sideways to open anything. You swipe to see which sort of notification is there (peeking) and chose if you want to respond or simply let go and continue what you're doing. I hope that clears things up a bit.

All I'm saying Bruvva, is how is that different from swiping to see which sort of notification is in the notification bar? Kevin is claiming its so much better, I don't see it.
,Nobody seems to have an answer for the other question that has been posed, how do we get to non messaging apps? Is it going to be the same old in out paradigm, or can we "flow" to those apps as well?

I'm gonna have to review some threads to see if/when the flow to different apps was covered. Interesting query. I sorta vaguely remember something about it.

It will be interesting to see how fast the app selection comes along.....assuming it will that is! Anxious to check out the keyboard bb10! Like my iphone but at times really miss that awesome 9930 kb!!

As much as I love the unified messaging on BlackBerry 10 I would love too see RIM implement the ultimate "unified multimedia" experience. TAT had already shown this demo called "Frontrunner" where you can browse your all multimedia files in one app, you can browse your pictures in cascades, music files and video files and its freaking awesome! Kevin might have something to tell us about this but holding on. I hope the frontrunner will be on pre-installed apps when BB10 hits the market. Cheers!

Hey Kevin: Great article. So many here are stoked for the next handsets. Your article is not making the wait any easier. How well do you think what you have seen is going to translate to the PB size hardware when BB10 comes out for the tablets.

/Device agnosticism or bust!

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